Even the blurb for The Blame Game by Sandie Jones is quite clever. Two voices. Two truths. Or one truth seen two ways perhaps? Either way… Jones offers up quite a few twists and a myriad of ethical dilemmas. I wonder if this should be used (for example) as a text book for psychology / counselling students as a warning about what happens when you cross the therapist / client boundary!!! Like a ‘what not to do’.
The Blame Game
by Sandie Jones
Published by Macmillan
Genres: Thriller / Suspense, Psychological Thriller
He came to me for help with his marriage.
I was alone and afraid. She was there when I needed to talk.
I needed to make him understand that he had to get away.
I knew what I needed to do. I just couldn't do it on my own. I trusted her.
Now it has gone too far. And I can't tell anyone what I have done.
Now I have nowhere to turn and I just pray they find me before she does.
There are two sides to every story.
Who will you believe is to blame when the truth comes out?
Jones slowly gives us details from Naomi’s past. We’re told early on she’s experienced trauma and has first hand knowledge of domestic or family violence, which is something that motivates her as a therapist. (And something she should have worked through a little more before becoming a counsellor herself!)
But ostensibly Naomi seems quite well-adjusted. Just overly invested in her clients and we learn this isn’t new and has backfired in the past. And yet, she persists.
Her husband Leon is less forgiving and so Naomi has to keep much of her out-of-session meddling from him. Which causes problems when one of her clients disappears and then she discovers – even though she thinks she knows EVERYTHING about her clients, many of them keep secrets from her.
Her missing client Jacob is not who he seems. Everything Naomi believes to be true and knows, she discovers is not the case. So when her life starts to collapse and she becomes a suspect, she realises her past may be catching up with her because she can only think of someone from her past (rather than her present) who’d want to jeopardise her life and her future.
The reveals about Naomi’s past are timed well and helped me understand why she hadn’t confided more in Leon about her father’s potential release from prison and re-appearance of her sister.
Jones keeps the twists coming right to the end and even I was slightly confused for a while, unsure who to believe or even what was happening. But I very much loved the way this book ends (a rarity for me).
The Blame Game by Sandie Jones was published in Australia by Pan Macmillan and is now available.
Incidentally, I should mention the paperback version of this book I read had very large font and I know I’m sometimes asked about that, though usually don’t notice…
I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes.